When Noreen and Ross Edlund, owners of the Skillets restaurants, approached us in the summer of 2018 about its Change for Children program, needless to say we were quite intrigued. We were happy to meet Noreen, Joe DiGangi, President & COO, and Stacie Thrasher, Director, who came for a tour and explained the program to us in detail.
Originally launched in 2011, the Edlunds created Change For Children to support the other CAC in our area, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County. At that time, three of their four restaurants were located in Collier, with a fourth in Bonita.
The Edlunds placed a change box and display at the register of each of their four restaurants, with a pledge to match each dollar donated by their customers.
Luckily for us, last year the Edlunds opened two new locations in Lee County, one at the new University Village in Estero and another in the
Cypress Trace shopping plaza in Ft. Myers. The time had come for our CAC to reap the benefits of this amazing program from these two new restaurants plus the Skillets on Bonita Beach Rd. that has been in operation for several years.
“By focusing on one meaningful cause, fighting child abuse, we hope to make a real difference,” says Noreen. “Over the years we’ve seen firsthand that people truly want to help. Change For Children provides a convenient way for them to give back.”
Since September 2018, Skillets and its customers have donated over $4300 to CAC of SWFL. “To have this long-term commitment from Skillets is very meaningful to the agency,” remarked Julie Boudreaux, CAC CEO. “By making it easy for their customers to donate, then matching the amount, the Edlunds are truly creating a positive change for the children in our community.”